People are living longer with each year that passes due to wonderful advancements in health care. The elderly health issues that today’s seniors face can be handled with modern medicine, advanced treatments, and the proper care provided by assisted living facilities like LaBier. The following are the ten most common issues and ways to continue living a full life while dealing with them.
Chronic Health Conditions
An estimated 92 percent of today’s seniors are facing a chronic disease while 77 percent of them have additional chronic issues. Stroke, heart disease, and diabetes are some of the most prevalent. Yearly check-ups, a healthy diet, and routine exercise are recommended by the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion to help the elderly manage and prevent these issues.
Cognitive Health Issues
Dementia is the most common cognitive health issue facing today’s elderly with Alzheimer’s disease affecting up to five million seniors over the age of 65. Worldwide, there are 47.5 million people losing their ability to remember, learn, and think. Other elderly health issues such as diabetes, substance abuse, and depression increase one’s risk of dementia. Although there is no cure, your doctor can prescribe medications to manage the condition.
Mental Health Problems
Seven percent of our elderly population faces some form of depression. Unfortunately, these mental health issues often go undiagnosed. In the United States, 18 percent of the suicide deaths involve older adults. Depression is often a result of dealing with elderly health issues. Managing these conditions and promoting a healthy lifestyle with the help of family, friends, and support groups can ward off depression.
Arthritis is on the top of the list of health issues facing the elderly. It is estimated that 49.7 percent of those over 65 suffer from arthritis. This disease can lead to pain and a low quality of life. Even though arthritis makes one want to stop being active, it is important to keep moving. Your doctor can help you develop a personal action plan that along with medical treatment can help you maintain your health.
Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors. Bones begin to shrink and the muscle loses strength as a person ages. This makes one more susceptible to losing their balance and falling which leads to fractures and bruises. Osteoporosis and osteoarthritis increase frailty, but falling is not inevitable. They can be prevented with the proper education, physical activity, and changes within the home.
Malnutrition is often undiagnosed in adults over 65 and leads to the immune system and muscles weakening. Causes range from those with dementia simply forgetting to eat to not having enough money for food. Consuming more fruits and vegetables and decreasing salt and fat in one’s diet will help avoid malnutrition. There are several organizations that can help prepare meals or provide food to those that cannot afford it.
Vision and hearing impairments are quite common among seniors over the age of 70. One out of six adults suffers from vision problems while one out of four faces hearing loss. This is according to studies done by the CDC, but fortunately, these are both easily treated with the help of eyeglasses and hearing aids.
Oral Health Issues
Oral health is extremely important for the elderly. Around 25 percent of those over 65 no longer have their own teeth. Tooth decay and cavities make it difficult to eat healthy foods, cause low self-esteem and may lead to other health issues. Other oral health problems seniors face include gum disease, dry mouth, and oral cancer. These problems are prevented and managed by regularly visiting the dentist.
Alcohol and drug abuse are more common among the elderly than most people realize. This is why it is often overlooked by family and friends and missed during medical check-ups. Along with seniors being prescribed several medications for long-term use, those with dementia may abuse their own medications or take someone else’s by mistake. This can result in a more serious issue. The best prevention is an astute caregiver that can help with medications.
Constipation and Incontinence
Bladder control and constipation are common among seniors, and these issues can impact their quality of life. Aging, chronic illnesses, and insufficient diets can lead to these problems. Eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight, and regular exercise can help one avoid incontinence and constipation. There are also medical treatments available, so adults should not let their embarrassment keep them from talking to their doctor.